Leading and Learning in wash

Support the center

Add your email to our listserv

  • Dr Karen Levy says keep drinking Atlanta’s tap water!

    In a recent op-ed published in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Dr. Karen Levy weighs in on the recent boil-water advisory in Atlanta, GA

    Opinion: Keep drinking Atlanta’s tap water

    A few days ago, I, along with thousands of other Atlanta residents, was told that my water is not safe to drink. The Atlanta Department of Watershed issued a citywide boil water advisory due to a malfunction in the Hemphill Water Treatment plant.

    Suddenly the rest of the city was joining me in thinking about their access to safe water, which is how I spend my days as an associate professor of environmental health at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. Usually my focus is on conditions in the developing world, but this time the concerns were in my backyard.

    The first thing that many people will do in reaction to this event is to go out and buy bottled water, which was a sensible response for the duration of the boil water advisory (although you could also simply boil or chlorinate your tap water to make it safe).

    Unfortunately, after the boil water advisory is lifted, many people will have lost faith in their tap water, and will continue to purchase bottled water indefinitely. This has far-reaching consequences.

    While counterintuitive, and probably not your first thought when we are under a citywide boil water advisory, buying bottled water will in fact reduce our collective access to safe water.

    There are several reasons for this ………read more

    Karen Levy, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

Add your email to our listserv